Thomas Randolph



T. R. Davis, Materials for an Edition of the Poems of Thomas Randolph (unpublished thesis, Exeter College, Oxford, 1970) [Bodleian, MS B. Litt. d. 1456]


Cyrus L. Day, ‘New Poems by Randolph’, Review of English Studies, 8 (1932), 29-36.


Rhodes Dunlap, ‘Some Unpublished Verses by Thomas Randolph’, Modern Language Notes, 56 (1941), 264-8.


Poetical and Dramatic Works of Thomas Randolph, ed. W. Carew Hazlitt, 2 vols (London, 1875)

Moore Smith (1925)

G. C. Moore Smith, ‘Some Unpublished Poems of Thomas Randolph (1605-1635)’, Palaestra, 148 (1925), 244-57

Moore Smith (1927)

G. C. Moore Smith, ‘Thomas Randolph’ (Warton Lecture on English Poetry, read 18 May 1927), Proceedings of the British Academy, 13 (1927), 79-121


The Poems and Amyntas of Thomas Randolph, ed. John Jay Parry (New Haven & London, 1917)

Poems (1638)

Thomas Randolph, Poems with the Muses looking-glasses; and Amyntas (Oxford, 1638)


The Poems of Thomas Randolph, ed., G. Thorn-Drury (London, 1929)


Thomas Randolph — whom W.C. Hazlitt called ‘one of the most delightful lyric and dramatic poets of his age’ and whose early death, as Thorn-Drury remarked, inspired tributes expressing such a sense of loss to letters ‘as I think has never attended the death of any other English poet’ — has left scarcely any surviving examples of his handwriting. His popularity at Cambridge and elsewhere, however, ensured a considerable circulation of his poems in contemporary manuscript copies.

Autograph Signatures and Inscriptions

The only indisputably authentic examples of his hand known at present are six signatures among Cambridge University records (RnT 598-604) together with two inscriptions in Randolph's New Testament, now in the Bodleian Library (RnT 596). What may possibly have been an authentic signature is in an exemplum of Seneca's Tragoediae (Venice, 1517), which was last seen at an auction in New York in 1911 (*RnT 597).

The library of Trinity College, Cambridge, contains at least two books bearing the elaborate signature ‘Tho. Randolph:’ namely, Pierre de la Ramée, Grammaire (Paris, 1572) [III. 18. 92], and Antoine La Roche Chandieu (‘A. Sadeel’), De verbo Dei scripto (Morges, 1582) [F. 12. 6]. While it would be pleasant to think that these were left to his college by the poet, the signatures actually belong to his earlier namesake, the diplomat Thomas Randolph (1523-90), an identical specimen of whose signature can be found reproduced in John Gough Nichols, Autographs of Royal, Noble, Learned, and Remarkable Personages conspicuous in English History (London, 1829), facing p. [27].

It may be noted that the poet's handwriting evinced in the meagre examples mentioned is by no means dissimilar to that of his younger brother, Robert (1612/13-71), whose signature occasionally appears in university records of the late 1620s-1630s (such as the Disbursements Books) associated with Christ Church, Oxford.

Alleged Autograph Poems

On the basis of the university subscriptions — written, it has to be said, in a relatively conventional, not particularly distinctive, predominantly italic script of the period — claims have occasionally been made for the identification as autograph of certain poetical manuscripts (RnT 358, by Bowers, for example). The most notable of these is the copy of On sixe maids bathing themselves in a River, now at Worcester College, Oxford (RnT 211), which was accepted as autograph without any reservations by the late P.J. Croft and reproduced in his Autograph Poetry (1972). This manuscript is, as Croft observes, ‘obviously a fair copy executed with some care’; it shows some attempt at calligraphic presentation — such as the line of flourishes after the title and the engrossing of proper names and other important words — though the overall unevenness leaves no doubt that it is not the work of a professional scribe. Indeed, there are features here that are strikingly similar to the penmanship found in Randolph's Cambridge subscriptions: for instance, very similar formations of a, c, d (with its doubled back looped or curled ascender), h, i, l (with its slight waver), m and capital T, as well as certain adopted forms of the Greek e, p, r, s (and double-s), and t; in addition to a tendency to leave gaps between letters (notably after initial capitals and after o), and the unevenness in the level of the base line. On the other hand, the overall aspect of the manuscript is, unlike the Cambridge subscriptions, strongly idiosyncratic, sufficiently distinctive to be recognisable if it appeared elsewhere. Letter-forms which seem dissimilar to Randolph's include the variation of Greek e to italic e; the shape of the bowl of the p (nearly closed, with an inward, concave curve, rather than outward, convex curve); the occasional cursory form of r wherein the cross-stroke is so close to the base line that the letter looks like a z; the variant forms of double-s, with long s more accentuated in loops and curls and short s embellished with a small superscript ‘curl’ leaning to the right; sc with calligraphic ligature; and variant t, with the spout formed by the pen doubling back on itself up the stem and across, or else by the pen curling sharply back to the left and then moving across to the right (to look more like a +), or even, in at least one instance, to a-two stroke t ornamented with introductory and terminal flourishes at the top and foot of the stem respectively. These dissimilarities supplement peculiar features for which the Cambridge subscriptions provide no opportunities for comparison: a two-stroke f, with accentuated tail flicked to the left, and g, with heavily looped tail, for instance. Then, besides all this, one might ask, how many seventeenth-century poets are known to have signed autograph copies of their own verse (the ‘signature’ here, incidentally, being ‘T: Randolph’, as opposed to the full ‘Thomas Randolph’ in the academic records)? Admittedly it is not unknown, especially in formal presentation manuscripts (examples by Jonson and Charles Cotton, for instance), but it is not common in this period, and ‘signatures’ are most commonly added to copies of poems by their scribes for identification rather than for literary proprietary purposes.

The discovery of the 1581 New Testament (RnT 596), with its clearly genuine but somewhat freer, more stylish ownership inscription by Randolph provides a further clue to the measure of flexibility to which the poet's handwriting might have been subject. Nevertheless, and somewhat surprisingly, it fails to support Croft's attribution. The defined character and flow of the writing in this inscription is even more markedly different from that in the Worcester manuscript, with, inter alia, itsr peculiar formations of g, r, terminal s and majuscule C.

Notwithstanding all these reasons for scepticism, one might, just possibly, be persuaded to agree with Croft — to accept that, on balance, the palaeographical arguments in favour of Randolph outweigh those against. The dissimilarities could be explained by natural variation, perhaps, had we more substantial examples of Randolph's handwriting available for comparison), but for the matter of text. The Worcester manuscript, by comparison with the other texts of On sixe maids bathing themselves in a River, is what editors would generally call a ‘good’ text, lacking in ‘obvious’ corruptions. Nevertheless, the scribe mistakenly refers in line 22 to ‘Iolas’ instead of ‘Hylas’, a reference unique to this text (except that ‘Iolaus’ appears in the Peverell manuscript: RnT 207) and which is properly ‘corrected’ in all other known texts, both printed and manuscript. Croft argues that it is much more likely that ‘Iolas’ (i.e. ‘Iolaus’, nephew of Hercules) is the author's original reading, subsequently corrected to ‘Hylas’ (or ‘Hilas’: i.e. the boy beloved of Hercules), than that a scribe misread ‘Hylas’ as ‘Iolas’. He seeks support for this surmise by suggesting that Randolph might have misunderstood a reference in Spenser's The Faerie Queene (V.v.24), which actually refers to the lady Iola (and despite the fact that Spenser does refer to Iolaus elsewhere in his poem). In fact, the likelihood that so classically trained and so classically conscious a scholar as Randolph would ever have confused Hylas (the well-known subject of treatment by Theocritus and Propertius, as well as Homer) for Iolaus, let alone for Spenser's Iola, seems somewhat remote. When all is said and done, the chances are that the Worcester manuscript, albeit neatly written on a separate sheet, is only one more contemporary copy of a well-liked poem by Randolph in an unidentified hand.

One other manuscript text — ignored by Croft but recorded earlier by Greg and Thorn-Drury — has a special claim to authenticity. This is the Dublin manuscript of Randolph's epithalamium on the marriage of his Trinity contemporary George Goring (1608-57) on 25 July 1629 (RnT 147). Unless it is a neat copy of the original made by or for some other member of the Goring family or, more likely, of the family of his nineteen-year-old Irish bride, Lettice Boyle (d.1643), daughter of the statesman Richard Boyle (1566-1643), first Earl of Cork, the Dublin manuscript has all the appearance of being the original presentation manuscript of this epithalamium. Granted one scribal error probably caused by eyeskip (a couplet at lines 46-7 was omitted and then subsequently inserted in the margin with appropriate asterisks), the manuscript is a carefully transcribed fair copy occupying all four pages of a single bifolium (unfortunately now badly damaged) once folded into a small square about three by three inches. The Latin title of the poem is given in full and separated from the main text, which is neatly laid out (with many prominent words distinguished by initial capitals) as a sequence of three poems (the second and third under the sub-headings ‘To the Bridegroome’ and ‘To the Bride’), with a clearly distinguished coda (heavily indented after a rule), concluding with a separately spaced and indented tag (a rhymed couplet about a quarter of the way down the last page). This is followed (after a two-and-a-half-inch space, half-way down the page and ranged to the right) by the subscription ‘Your humble Seruant’, and then (after a further three-inch space, about three quarters of the way down the page to the extreme right) by the full name ‘Thomas Randolph’, written out with elaborate flourishes. The manuscript is characterised, in fact, by the formal layout commonly bestowed on commendatory and dedicatory verse of the period in both manuscript and printed form, very much betokening a presentation copy. This impression is reinforced by contrast with the only other known text of this poem, a casual and incomplete transcript, made with little thought for layout, in a contemporary miscellany at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (RnT 148). According to Moore Smith in 1926, Greg was inclined to believe, nevertheless, that the Dublin manuscript was probably written out by a professional scribe on Randolph's behalf — perhaps the most likely explanation. While, for instance, the signature here has features in common with Randolph's Cambridge subscriptions (the capital T, with curled cross-stroke, here accentuated, minuscule a, i, m, n, o, with breaks both before and after, s, d with a looped backward-leaning ascender, and p with a flourished terminal serif), there are also striking dissimilarities: a rather more graceful loop here on the d, with no sign of jerkiness, a more heavily looped h, no sign of Randolph's characteristic waver in the stem of the l, a distinctly stiff, formal appearance to the accentuated p, not to mention the peculiar decorative flourish with which the ‘signature’ concludes suggesting a somewhat self-conscious, measured, possibly even imitative script. Similar reservations could be extended to the main text of the poem (initial capital T, for instance, does not always have a space after it; the Greek e has an atypical rounded formation, as well as varying on occasions to italic e; the r here always appears with a foot-serif; and the s is also unusually rounded sometimes, as well as the double-s's taking the form of two short s's instead of a long and short s; all in addition to peculiarities of style for which no comparisons are available, such as the distinctive g or the variant forms of st, with long or short s and calligraphic ligature). In short, this is not the definitive example of an autograph literary manuscript by Randolph. At best it remains the only known manuscript text of any of Randolph's poems which may have been directly associated with the poet himself.

Other references to the existence of autograph poems by Randolph belong to the seventeenth century. Unless echoing a eulogistic convention possibly found also in the celebrated preface to the Shakespeare First Folio, Randolph's brother-in-law, Richard West, may perhaps have been recalling sight of Randolph's neat autograph manuscripts of his poems when he praised the poet's facility of composition in his commendatory poem in Poems (1638):

…Hee was not like those costive Wits, who blot

A quire of paper to contrive a Plot.

And e're they name it, crosse it, till it look

Rased with wounds like an old Mercers Book… (Thorn-Drury, p. 17).

In his Brief Lives John Aubrey claimed that Randolph's autograph verse ‘History of the Incarnation of our Saviour’, written when he was less than ten years old, was ‘kept as a rarity’ by his brother John (Clark, II, 192, cited in Thorn-Drury, p. x, and see Aubrey's original account in Bodleian, MS Aubrey 6, f. 114r). Some years later, in an exemplum of Gerard Langbaine's An Account of the English Dramatic Poets (Oxford, 1691), William Oldys (1696-1761) noted that ‘Old Counsellor Fane of Colchester’ had ‘A MS. copy of Randolph's poems, an original, as he said, with many additions never printed, being devolved to him as the author's relation’ (British Library, C.28.g.1, cited in Thorn-Drury, p. xxi). Miss J.T. Smith of the Essex Record Office has suggested that Oldys may here be referring to the Secretary of State Sir Henry Vane the Elder (1589-1655), who was certainly a royalist ‘Counsellor’ and whose wife came from Tolleshunt Darcy, a few miles outside Colchester. Nevertheless, unless it can be identified as one of the extant manuscript collections listed below, neither this manuscript nor Randolph's juvenilia are known today.

There is, in fact, reason to believe that no clearly authoritative manuscript collection of Randolph's poems was known even to his first publishers. A few minor contributions to printed university miscellanies, a very occasional commendatory poem, and certain of his university dramatic works are all that the author himself saw published in his lifetime. In 1638, three years after Randolph's premature death, his brother Robert published a collected edition of his works (a slightly expanded, second edition appearing in 1640). West's commendatory poem already quoted suggests that this edition is incomplete, having been made from scattered sources:

…But all his Works are lost, his Fire is out;

These are but's Ashes, which were throwne about

And now rak'd up together; all wee have

With pious sacriledge snatch'd from his Grave

Are but a few meteours… (Thorn-Drury, p. 21).

Thus, while the decision by Randolph's most recent editor, George Thorn-Drury, to accept the editions of 1638 and 1640 as textually sound is not without justification (‘the supervision of this [Poems (1638)] has been deservedly praised’), his related decision to dismiss, for the most part, ‘MS. collections or “common-place books”’ out of hand is regrettable. In this, it has to be said, he was merely following Hazlitt, who declared, quite unjustifiably, that ‘as a general rule, the manuscript work of the seventeenth century is of very inferior importance to that of the preceding centuries, and presents, to a large extent in fact, a debased and corrupt text of the printed books of the period … where an author has been thought worth paper and print by his own generation, the published volume contains, in nine instances out of ten, superior and purer readings, the MSS, being often derived merely from the printed text, with the accession of such blunders of every kind as an illiterate and slovenly scribe might be expected to perpetrate’ (I, xix-xx).

Not only is the value of a number of contemporary manuscript miscellanies evident in that they preserve many of Randolph's poems which did not find their way into his brother's published edition (see Thorn-Drury, pp. 147-71, and discussion of the canon below), but the majority of such manuscripts are likely to predate 1638 and to be products of those university coteries in which Randolph's poems circulated in his own lifetime, having scarcely less authority (and often considerably more) than the ‘rak'd up…Ashes’ afterward gathered by his brother.

Principal Manuscript Collections of Randolph's Poems

While no seventeenth-century manuscript verse collection devoted exclusively to Randolph is known to survive, groups of his poems — comprising as many as twenty-four in a single manuscript — appear in various recorded miscellanies. For convenient reference, those containing substantial numbers of poems attributed to Randolph (and described more fully in the entries below) may be listed as follows, with the delta numbers originally supplied in IELM. II.ii:

Bodleian, MS Eng. poet. c. 50. (‘Daniell MS’: RnT Δ 1). Includes 23 poems (and second copies of two) by Randolph, plus four of doubtful authorship.

Bodleian, MS Firth e. 4. (‘Harflete MS’: RnT Δ 2). Includes 20 poems by Randolph, plus ten of doubtful authorship.

British Library, Harley MS 3511. (‘Capell MS’: RnT Δ 3). Includes 13 poems by Randolph, plus one of doubtful authorship.

British Library, Harley MS 6917 and British Library, Harley MS 6918. (Calfe MSS: RnT Δ 4). Include nine poems by Randolph (with a second copy of one) plus three of doubtful authorship.

Cambridge University Library, MS Add. 8684. (‘Rolfe MS’: RnT Δ 5). Includes 13 poems by Randolph plus three of doubtful authorship

Corpus Christi College, Oxford, MS 328. (‘Fulman MS’: RnT Δ 6). Includes eight poems by Randolph plus three of doubtful authorship.

Folger, MS V.a.322. (‘Wheeler MS’: RnT Δ 7). Includes fourteen poems by Randolph.

Harvard, fMS Eng 626. (‘St John MS’: RnT Δ 8). Includes 24 poems by Randolph, plus two of doubtful authorship.

Huntington, HM 172. (‘Huntington MS’: RnT Δ 9). Includes 19 poems by Randolph plus two of doubtful authorship.

Rosenbach Museum & Library, MS 239/23. (‘Rosenbach MS’: RnT Δ 10). Includes 24 poems by Randolph.

Rosenbach Museum & Library, MS 240/7. (‘Mostyn MS’: RnT Δ 11). Includes 23 poems by Randolph (with a second copy of one).

The Family Album, [Wolf MS]. (‘Wolf MS’: RnT Δ 12). Includes nine poems by Randolph, plus one of doubtful authorship.

There are other manuscripts recorded in relatively modern times as containing poems by Randolph, but which cannot be clearly identified with manuscripts recorded in the entries below. They include:

An exemplum of Poems (1638), bearing on the blank leaf A1 ‘a transcript of some verses by Randolph, written in a XVIIth Century hand’. (Anderson Auction Co., New York, 1 May 1911 (Robert Hoe sale), lot 2727).

An exemplum of Poems (1638) with 24 tipped-in pages in contemporary handwriting, as well as two by Sir John Suckling. (Pickering & Chatto, ‘A Catalogue of Old and Rare Books’ [c.1910?], item 3851).

The Verse Canon

The numbers of poems ‘by Randolph’ cited in this list, as well as the body of other copies given entries below, beg the question of what is to be accepted in the Randolph canon. It might, indeed, be said that there is no universally accepted canon of Randolph's works, but only a history of attempts to produce one. So far as published scholarship is concerned, it may briefly be outlined as follows:

(1) Poems (1638) established an initial body of works whose authenticity there seems to be no reason to question.

(2) The second edition of 1640 incorporated a few additional poems, including one certainly spurious one (John Cleveland's Upon an Hermaphrodite: see Thorn-Drury, p. xxii, and The Poems of John Cleveland, ed. Brian Morris and Eleanor Withington (Oxford, 1967), pp. xxv-xxvi, 10-11).

(3) Hazlitt (1875) incorporated further poems which he attributed to Randolph, some of which are certainly spurious.

(4) Parry (1917) made some qualifications to Hazlitt's canon and incorporated a few more poems found in manuscript sources.

(5) Moore Smith (1925 and 1927) added to the canon yet further poems, with remarks such as ‘It is not ascribed to Randolph, but there can be little doubt of his authorship’ and without adducing evidence beyond possible stylistic affinities.

(6) Thorn-Drury (1929) incorporated (pp. 147-71) a selection of poems attributed to Randolph in miscellaneous sources, including some but not all of those variously accepted by Hazlitt, Parry and Moore Smith.

(7) Day (1932) added to the canon a number of poems found in the St John and Huntington Manuscripts (RnT Δ 8 and RnT Δ 9 above).

(8) Moore Smith commented on Day's article in ‘New Poems by Randolph’, RES, 8 (1932), 202-3, and three of the additional poems in the Huntington Manuscript were printed independently in Dunlap (1941).

(9) Davis (1970) offered a summary reconsideration of the canon based on the attributions of his predecessors.

The occasional poem ascribed to Randolph has featured in other scholarly discussions — for instance, The Constant Lovers, discovered by B.H. Newdigate in 1942 (see RnT 50) — but these are the main steps taken so far to establish the poetical canon.

The result of ascriptions to Randolph in manuscripts, together with speculations by modern editors, is a substantial body of poems doubtfully or spuriousl;y attributed to him. Since most of these are still open to consideration, and at least throw light on what contemporaries considered to be his style and characteristics, poems currently recorded as being ascribed to Randolph, or to ‘T.R.’ in manuscripts, or which are attributed to him by modern editors, are given separate entries below (RnT 446-590).

Latin Verse

Randolph's Latin verse received less than sympathetic treatment from Thorn-Drury, who stated frankly (p. xxvii) that he would have been happy to omit it altogether had not some of Randolph's Latin poems appeared in Poems (1638). Hazlitt, however, incorporated in his edition a number of Latin poems attributed in various sources to Randolph. In addition, a few further Latin poems can be incorporated in the canon from the evidence of the St John and Huntington MSS (RnT Δ 8 and RnT Δ 9) discussed in Day. A Latin poem on Charles Cotton the elder is clearly ascribed to Randolph in another manuscript source (RnT 412.5). Randolph's funeral poem on the Landgrave Maurice the Learned of Hesse-Cassel, printed in Mausoleum Mauritianum (Kassel, 1635-40), was reprinted in Leonard Forster, ‘An Unnoticed Latin Poem by Thomas Randolph, 1633’, English Studies, 41 (1960), 258; and four other little-known Latin epigrams by Randolph in Huntingdon Plumptre's Epigrammaton opusculum (London, 1629), were reprinted in W. Hilton Kelliher, ‘Two Notes on Thomas Randolph’, PQ, 51.ii (1972), 941-5. It is quite possible that other Latin verse by Randolph will come to light in due course. Moore Smith (1927, p. 113) tentatively attributed to Randolph the verses Cantabrigiensium oenopoliorum Fatum miserabile. 1626 (‘Triste nefas morbo languent sitiente taberna’) found in the British Library (Add. MS 15227, f. 56r: see RnT 412.8). Kelliher (loc. cit., p. 942) also notes that William Oldys remarked in his annotated exemplum of Langbaine (British Library, C.28.g.1), against Randolph's ‘Ben doe not leave the stage’ (see RnT 20-32), that ‘Tho Randolph Translated this his Parody also into Latin and I have it with W. Strode's Translation of B Jonson's Farewell [see StW 1410-15] in MS among the old Poems in the 2° Volume I had of the late Mr. T[homas] Coxeter [d.1747]’. Neither the mamuscript nor the Latin translation referred to here is identifiable at present, unless Oldys meant by the latter Randolph's translation of Jonson's original poem (see RnT 413-19).

Dramatic Works and Orations

Randolph's dramatic works have been somewhat more widely discussed — notably in G. C. Moore Smith, ‘The Canon of Randolph's Dramatic Works’, RES, 1 (1925), 309-23; in Bentley, V (1956), 964-93; and in individual articles cited in the entries below (RnT 420-44). Granted that the play Hey for Honesty (Hazlitt, II, 373-492) may be a work of joint-authorship, and that Cornelianum dolium (London, 1638) was probably based by Richard Braithwait on an incomplete draft by Randolph, there are only two notable instances of uncertain authorship. One is The Drinking Academy, a piece known only from a single anonymous manuscript text (RnT 427). The other is a play which appears in the same hand as the latter, in a manuscript once bound with it: namely, The Fairy Knight, or, Oberon the Second (RnT 427.5). Because of this connection, it has been considered a possible addition to the canon, but was firmly rejected by both Moore Smith and Bentley, V, 1328-30 (and see also the edition of the play by F.T. Bowers, Chapel Hill, 1941).

Randolph's dramatic pieces, like his poems, evidently had a limited circulation in manuscript among Cambridge students and academics. Relatively recent discoveries include contemporary manuscript copies off Aristippus (RnT 421) and manuscript texts of his Salting (RnT 443-444), a humorous undergraduate monologue formerly known from an incomplete, version (RnT 445). In his manuscript notes on Randolph in Chorus Vatum (British Library, Add. MS 24487, ff. 174v-6v) Joseph Hunter (1783-1861) records a manuscript of Randolph's monologue The Conceited Pedlar — apparently under the heading ‘The University Pedlar’ — as being formerly in the possession of Randolph's brother-in-law, Richard West, and later in that of the Rev. Mr Collins of Knaresborough, Yorkshire. Whether this can be identified with either of the two texts of this monologue known today (RnT 425-6) is uncertain. Neither is it clear whether this work can be identified with ‘a Comedy’ which existed in manuscript at least until 29 June 1660 when it was licensed for the press (though not subsequently published) under the title The Prodigall Scholar (see Hazlitt, I, xix, and Bentley, V, 990-1).

A later prologue to one of Randolph's plays appears in a verse compilation by William Williams (c.1625-c.1684), of Trinity College, Cambridge: namely, a ‘Prologue to the Muses Looking Glasse; A Play acted by the schollars of the free schoole att Bewmares’ [i.e. Beaumaris School, Anglesey] in Lent 1655 (beginning ‘I know that children's playsome innocence’). This manuscript is now in the National Library of Wales (NLW MS 15140A, ff. 68r-9v), and part of the prologue is reproduced in facsimile in Sotheby's sale catalogue for 25 July 1978, lot 450. There is also a copy of Edward Hyde's commendatory Latin poem on another of Randolph's plays (see Hazlitt, I, 61-2). Headed ‘Vpon Mr Randolphs Comoedie called the Jealous Louers. Aug. 6. 1632’, this text appears with other poems by Hyde in one of the miscellanies of Dr Thomas Plume (1630-1704) in the Plume Library, Maldon (Plume MS 32, f. 82v).


Many of Randolph's poems were adapted (or, more accurately, plagiarised) by Henry Tubbe (b.1617/18) of St John's College, Cambridge, whose manuscript poems (dated 1648-54) are in the British Library (Harley MS 4126).

Various other imitations of, or answers to, individual poems by Randolph are to be found. They include:

J. H. to his creditors in imitation of Ra, beginning ‘In Randolph's curse…’. Yale (Osborn MS b 62, pp. 109-10)

William Hemminge's An Elegy Vpon Mr Randolph's finger, beginning ‘Houle, houle, my sadder Muse & weepe a straine’. Bodleian (MS Ashmole 38, p. 26) and National Archives, Kew (SP 9/51/24)

Thomas Pestell's Replie to Mr Randolls verses on the losse of his finger, beginning ‘Muse ere we part, let wittye Arnold know’. Bodleian (MS Malone 14, p. 32); Folger (MS V.a.339, f. 257r-v), and Harvard (MS Eng 228, ff. 7v-8r)

An Answer, beginning ‘Alas poore Randale now no more I hau'it’, ascribed to ‘Wa: Holmes’. Leeds Archives (WYL156/237, f. 30r).

“You that Apelles curious eye”. National Archives, Kew (SP 46/126. f. 123r-v)

An exemplum of Hazlitt's edition of Randolph (1875) heavily annotated by George Thorn-Drury (1860-1931) in connection with his own edition of 1929 is preserved in the Bodleian (Thorn-Drury e. 14-15). Three of Thorn-Drury's autograph notebooks devoted to his edition, each comprising c.150 pages (including blanks), are at Yale (Osborn Shelves MS e 3/1-3).

Peter Beal